Grapelive: Wine of the Day December 26, 2019

2018 Drench Wines, Sauvignon Blanc, Zabala Vineyard, Arroyo Seco, Monterey County -photo grapelive

2018 Drench Wines, Sauvignon Blanc, Zabala Vineyard, Arroyo Seco, Monterey County.
Emily Hunt’s Drench Wines is a micro-winery label and a her personal project with some unique offerings and packaging with her beautiful and tangy fresh Zabala Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc coming in a 500ml bottle, making for a nice aperitif or first course size. Hunt does her Sangiovese/Petite Sirah Napa Valley Red and her Rosé in the 500ml’s too, and interestingly her Sangiovese is done in Magnum(s) shaped like Riesling bottles, they certainly stand out and the wine is very good too. Hunt’s day job has been as a consulting winemaker and assistant winemaker for a few Monterey labels, but has now started to concentrate on her wines more exclusively and has settled in the Bay Area to get a toe in to the market, and also be closer to her Napa Valley vineyard source, that being the Fazekas Vineyard, off of Silverado trail. This new Sauvignon Blanc is vivid and zesty with classic Sancerre gooseberry intensity and juicy citrus with a hint of wet stones and a streak of minerallity, very quaffable, adding bright detail and depth with time in the glass, it certainly shows the brilliance of the vintage. Hunt, who’s start in the wine business was a chance offer to do harvest in the high Dolomites of Italy with an invitation to harvest Lagrein grapes, during a summer and fall in Bozano, an experience that proved life changing, setting her on a course to be a winemaker.

Emily, a bit of a gypsy at heart, is well traveled and has, as she puts it, soaked up (Drenched herself in) wine culture & craftsmanship from Bolivia, Argentina, Chile, Spain, Portugal, New Zealand, and most recently France, all of which has influenced her wine and fueled her passion. I have enjoyed the Drench wines over the last few vintages and this brand new release of Sauvignon Blanc made a great impression on me with it’s sense of purity and zingy flavors, it re-enforces what Ian Brand, former SF Chronicle Winemaker of the Year and owner of I. Brand & Family Winery, told me recently, he is now becoming a Sauvignon Blanc fan and he says Zabala is producing some fabulous grapes, he notes that it takes Monterey County Sauvignon Blanc to a very respected place, he also crafts a version from this site which is out now as well. The 2018 Drench Zabala S.B. starts with a touch of white flowers, grapefruit and peach flesh as well as racy lemon/lime, minty herb, faint chalkiness and bitter stone fruit (pit) that cuts the forward peachiness and this dry Sauvignon Blanc makes for a sublime companion to Chevre, Loire goat cheese and or oysters. This is a fun white that should be enjoyed now and with enthusiasm, drink over the next year and take advantage of its vibrant and steely form, though you might want an extra bottle as it goes fast.
($20 Est. 500ml) 90 Points, grapelive